Hard-earned point for Malaga at Fuenlabrada

Malaga's Juankar runs with the ball.
Malaga's Juankar runs with the ball. / SUR
  • Armando Sadiku failed to take the best chance of a cagey game with minutes to go

For the 12th time this league campaign, Malaga drew on Friday, this one coming away to promotion-chasing Fuenlabrada. The stalemate will have left a bittersweet taste in Malaga fans' mouths; while a point at the Estadio Fernando Torres is not to be sniffed at in a relegation battle, the visitors could have grabbed a win at the death.

Despite a few moments of drama, the encounter was ultimately one to forget, much like the reverse fixture earlier this season, which also ended goalless. One struggles to think of a clear-cut chance in the first half, as both sides were cautious and lacked the ruthlessness to find the final ball.

For a moment, Malaga thought they had the lead, after Sadiku had emphatically headed home an excellent delivery from Juanpi. However, VAR correctly ruled the Albanian to have been in an offside position, and the sides went in level at half time.

Fuenlabrada did generate a few scrappy opportunities from set pieces after the restart, Juanma blazing over from just inside a crowded six-yard box, and José León seeing his header cleared off the line by Sadiku. The hosts then had their own header ruled out with around 10 minutes to go, Randy Nteka having been just offside when he beat Munir.

Sadiku misses late chance

The chance of the game fell to Sadiku with minutes to go, but he could not convert substitute Badr Boulahroud's pinpoint delivery. But the reality is, while Malaga could have snatched all three points, interim coach Sergio Pellicer is off to a steady start, and the Blue and Whites are now unbeaten in eight.

"I think anyone would have taken four points from these two games at the start of the week," Pellicer said after the game. "I'm proud of the players." Nevertheless, he did question whether VAR might have spotted a late foul on Juanpi in the Fuenlabrada box.

The draw means Malaga remain in 16th place, their 27 points three more than Oviedo, who occupy the last relegation spot. Their next challenge is Mirandés this Sunday at noon.